This Redditor inherited his grandmother’s inheritance early to help him with university expenses. Now that he decided it wasn’t something he wanted to do, his parents are keeping his money from him!
The Land Down Under
OP (Original Poster) and his parents moved to Australia when he was young from the United Kingdom, and they lived in the suburbs.
Since his town was far from the closest university, OP moved to a more urban area to study.
His parents weren’t poor, but neither were they rich. Because of this, they were unable to support OP financially when he moved.
He added, “I’m also ineligible for government living assistance because my parents’ combined income is just a scrape over the limit on the means test.”
Putting a Hold on His Plans
Living and study costs were “so high” that OP ended up dropping out of university after a year. It was also hard for him since he had to study and work full-time.
He was burned out after months of 10-hour-plus days, 7 days a week.
Financial Aid From Grandma
Soon after, OP’s grandmother in the United Kingdom heard about his predicament. So, she decided to send him part of his inheritance in advance.
He wrote, “She sent me my part of the inheritance that she planned to leave all her grandkids early because I could use the money now to help support myself.”
Mental Health’s Downward Spiral
Sadly, the timing couldn’t have been more wrong. This all happened during COVID-19’s lockdown; OP had a “bit of a mental spiral,” and he failed many of his classes in one semester.
He said, “I get that this has been a tough year for all of us and that I can’t use COVID as some crutch for all my life problems. I don’t know why, but it just took a particularly heavy toll on me and sent me to a really dark place.”
A Gap Year
Since then, OP has taken a 12-month leave of absence from school to get his mental health in check. He also planned to use this time to reassess where he was in life.
Choosing a Different Path
After some therapy and reflection, OP realized he wasn’t enjoying university. He thought he might be “better off” pursuing something he was generally passionate about.
Rigid Parental Views
When OP told his parents his decision, they “completely flipped” and are now refusing to release any of his money from the inheritance he received from his grandmother.
They first want him to move back to the city and resume his studies.
The Tricky Part
OP owns the money; there’s no doubt about that. However, the problem was that his grandmother sent the money directly to his parents.
His parents then set up a separate bank account in their name so OP didn’t “splurge” it.
Another problem is that his grandmother has since passed away, and she won’t be able to give her statement about the issue. Unlike him, the rest of his cousins have already received their inheritance right after his grandmother died.
The Evidence in His Hands
Even though it’s problematic, OP believes he may have a fighting chance.
OP wrote, “I have spoken to a lawyer and explained the situation and showed that I had various texts and emails showing the money had been sent as my chunk of her inheritance and that it wasn’t my parents’ cash. She thinks that I have a case against my parents for refusing to release money to me unless I do what they say.”
When OP’s parents heard about his plans, they started to argue that his grandmother only sent the money for university costs. So, if he wasn’t in school, he wasn’t entitled to a cent!
OP, however, strongly disagrees. He said, “She only sent it to me ‘early’ to help with university costs. If I hadn’t gone to university, I would still have gotten it when she passed.”
Two Sides of the Coin
OP had also spoken to two cousins about his predicament and asked for advice. One thinks he should sue because, at the end of the day, it was his money and not his parents’.
His other cousin is a bit more cautious, though, and feels like OP might destroy what’s left of his relationship with his parents.
No One Controls Me!
He doesn’t know how to move forward. He’s “very conflicted” because though he does love his parents, he still doesn’t want them to use his money to control his life.
OP asked, “Would I be the a**hole if I gave them an ultimatum that they either had to let me access my money or I’d sue for it?”
Redditors’ Two Cents
For users, there’s no way that OP’s in the wrong. In fact, some encourage him to fight for what’s his!
One commented, “Not the a**hole because you do have proof that the money was intended for you, but this seems like something that might be solved with a mediation with the lawyer. Pressing on with a legal suit over the money could potentially ruin your relationship forever with your parents. It’s not necessarily wrong, but I’d consider every avenue before it.”
Another Redditor said, “The money is your inheritance, not just money your grandmother sent you for university. Your parents should respect that. They should not hold on to that money, and the fact they’re doing so makes it look like they’re trying to control you. If you don’t sue, what will happen? They will force you to do a degree you don’t want, and then? Is there any guarantee they’d give you the money after that? Or will there be more conditions? Hint: There will be more conditions. People don’t willingly give up power. They are behaving very s******.”
Others flocked to the comments section to give OP advice on how to move forward.
“Not the a**hole; contact, I would think, an estate attorney. What your parents are doing may not be legal; it most likely is against the law. Do not be surprised if a lot of Your money has gone to them,” advised one Redditor.
A woman said, “Not the a**hole, but I do think you should really consider carefully a couple of things first before you go to sue. Will a lawyer do this pro bono, or at least will they do the thing where you don’t have to pay if you don’t win the suit? Are you gonna be able to be financially dependent on your parents once you have the money? And last but not least, are you ready to end your relationship with your parents if that’s what it takes? You definitely have the right to sue. They are withholding money that your grandmother left for you. That’s honestly really screwed up. I hope things work out for you in this situation, whatever you decide. And just remember, you are not the a**hole; they are.”
Do you think OP should sue? What would you do?
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This post first appeared as His Parents Refused to Relinquish Control of the Inheritance His Grandmother Left Him. They Think They Own His Money, but He’ll Prove Them Wrong by Suing Them! on Quote Ambition.